[JPL] Revisiting Ray's art with a Basie-less band
OntheBeach at aol.com
OntheBeach at aol.com
Fri Sep 29 12:44:52 EDT 2006
one cannot compare overdubbed recordings-where the parties are aware of the
process and have agreed to the collaboration, or overdubbed themselves-with
the new breed of cut and paste wherein one (or more) of the [key] parties is no
longer with us and has no input. [with apologies to families, estate
administrators, attorneys, managers, current and former band members, record execs
et al-you are not surrogates].
while the results are sometimes very nice, and occasionally horrific this
represents a paradigm shift in the recording-and-art world. while one can
argue there is merit in breaking down boundaries, it appears to represent not
just an extension of technology but the loss of respect and perspective which
certain works of art have earned both through their creation and the passing of
pat metheny's now famous rant about kenny g's "duet" [sic] with louis
"hallowed ground" and that recording travesty certainly represents the
low-water mark, to date in this new approach to making records. is there
"hallowed ground" anymore? the corporate labels will seemingly license anything to
create additional revenue.
in the case of the ray charles/count basie, irrespective of how good the
final "product" may sound, the bottom line is this: Ray had no say or input into
this and neither did Count Basie [who doesn't even appear on this
recording-oh yeah he's passed on too]. will some consumers think both did and that
Count Basie appears on this "historic" recording? does this matter?
some feel the quality of the participants justifies the ends. i do not
agree with this position.
as much as i respect and admire tony bennett, just because he is excellent
doesn't give him the right to "duet" with billie holiday.
alas, today's technology allows any musician or artist to realize almost any
fantasy they can conjur up. while we could have some laughs conjuring up
the most unlikely and creative collaborations across the history of jazz, (or
any other pairing in music history) at some point the art is to be respected.
numerous of the "remix" projects sound good, some sound great, very cool
stuff--but again without the blessing and participation of the principal artist,
what do they really represent?
[keep in mind one thing they represent is a very inexpensive way to milk the
catalogs of great artists:many of whom had tiny royalty rates.]
all of which suggests high art and grand tradition are no longer as esteemed
as they once were. in our digitized fast moving information age world,
apparently people now feel its okay to usurp anybody's art for their own means.
soon the floodgates will open and i shudder to think what may come of it.
on the one hand pro tools and photoshop et al are wonderful tools. in the
hands of a skilled craftsman they can facilitate wonderful things. in the
wrong hands they can falsify documents and revise history, or in a "Mouse That
Roared" scenario invoke hysteria.
perhaps today's political environment has allowed folks to believe nothing
is sacred and anything goes if there's money to be made. [ouch: do i sound
in the future, watch out for stunning discoveries ala the Monk and Coltrane
at Carnegie Hall. but approach them with caution because very soon the
technology will be at the point where "historic" recordings or collaborations that
never existed are suddenly "unearthed". [is that buddy bolden i hear
playing off in the disatnce?]
i'm just not sure that this is what was meant by the saying, "what was once
old is new again,"
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